New Delhi: A GPS-based passenger information
system will be installed in the Mumbai and Howrah Rajdhanis
from this month, enabling passengers to find out the exact
location, speed and arrival time of trains on real-time basis.
GPS receivers are being acquired to be installed and once
the installation is completed, the Satellite Imaging for Rail
Navigation (SIMRAN) system will be operational in four trains
(two rakes each of Mumbai Rajdhani and Howrah Rajdhanis), a
senior Railway Ministry official said.
Developed by the Research Designs and Standards
Organisation (RDSO) in collaboration with IIT-Kanpur, SIMRAN
will replace the manual tracking system by connecting about
8,000 trains and 8,177 stations through GPS across the country
in a phase-wise manner.
"Intensive trials are being carried out before installing
it in four Rajdhani trains," he said, adding, "One can even
track these Rajdhani trains on Internet after the system
Railways has earmarked Rs 160 crore to implement the
GPS-based system which aims at providing information to the
public through Internet, SMS, call centres and train
indication boards at stations.
It will also give information to onboard passengers
through the provision of display system inside the coaches.
Currently, to keep track of trains, station masters call
up the control room at the divisional headquarters every time
a train passes their station. Because of this manually
controlled system, the information is sometimes inadequate.
"Railways have already taken the brand-width from the ISRO
and a satellite hub has been created near New Delhi station to
receive data," the official said.
As per the plan, Railways is to install the GPS devices
in all locomotives and stations to receive dynamic data on
train movement through satellite.
Name of the incoming train, speed, time duration and all
relevant information required by passengers will be made
available automatically once the system becomes operational
for all trains.
Digital mapping of 8,177 stations of Indian Railways have
so far been done. "All our control offices are now
computerised. The system will be utilised for tracking freight
trains as well," the official said.
Other advantages of SIMRAN is that locomotive running
information shall be available in the server which can be
analysed to improve its efficiency.
Train running information like location, speed, direction
on real-time basis can be analysed to improve the train
running in a particular section.
Digital map of the railway station can also be used for
linking various station data, yard information, signal
information, city and hospital information which will be
useful during any emergency.